Md : "no Knock" Raid Goes Bad

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Pompo, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Pompo Pompo

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    8/8/08|NewsWithViews| by Jon Christian Ryter

    Prince George's County, Maryland police officers did not get the "no knock" warrant they sought from Circuit Court Judge Albert W. Northrup but they broke down the door of Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo's home on July 29 anyway. The police were looking for 32 lb. of marijuana. Adding trauma to injury, when they entered the home, the cops shot the mayor's black Labrador Retrievers. Neither dog was trying to attack them. In fact the younger dog, 4-year old Chase, was shot by officers as he tried to escape into the kitchen of the home. Seven-year old Payton was shot by the police the moment they entered the house. Police officers said the large dogs "intimidated them," and without being threatened by either docile pet, cops shot both of them.

    Photo courtesy of NewsWithViews

    At that point, the case starts to get bizarre. The Prince George's County SWAT team, together with Sheriff's Dept. narcotics enforcement officers had good reason to suspect that the mayor and his wife had a large stash of marijuana in their possession because they—the cops—delivered the package containing 32 lb. of marijuana to the mayor's house (posing as courier deliverymen). The box was addressed to the mayor's wife, Trinity Tomsic. Police placed the package on Calvo's porch and waited until the mayor came home, saw the package, and carried it into his house. This was one of those evenings that Calvo's wife, Trinity, the Director of the Maryland Dept. of Human Resources, worked late. She was not home when the SWAT team crashed through the door, shot the household pets and "captured" the contraband and handcuffed her husband and mother. In addition to serving as mayor of Berwyn Heights, Calvo is also the Director of the SEED Foundation. The Calvos were not your typical "drug dealers." In point of fact, they weren't drug dealers at all. And the police, who saw arrresting a mayor and his state official wife for drugs was the type of career-boosting arrest that could land a Sheriff or police chief in a berth as head of the police department in a major US city—with a major six-digit income—knew it. This appeared to be one of those law enforcement opportunities without an apparent downside. Calvo's lawyer, however, appears to have found one.

    Photo courtesy of NewsWithViews

    Several State and county law enforcement agencies acaross the United States began the interstate tracking of the package after a police dog in a parcel shipping facility in Arizona detected the presence of drugs in the container. The package was addressed to Trinity Tomsic at her home in Berwyn Heights. Believing that a woman named Tomsic had purchased 32 lb. of marijuana from a grower in Arizona, police confiscated the drugs and, posing as drivers for the parcel service, delivered the illicit cargo themselves thinking they may have nabbed the big fish in what appeared to be a local drug pond.

    Cheye Calvo unwittingly brought the drugs into his house. All he knew was that someone delivered a parcel addressed to his wife. In light of what happened to the Calvos, that is a scary thought because you know you would have done the same thing. A package arrives addressed to your spouse. What do you do? You do what anyone would do—you bring the box, heavy as it was, into the house. And, since it was addressed to his wife and not him, Calvo did not open it. He left it for his wife, believing what was in the box was something she had ordered. (A woman would have opened the box. Men just aren't that curious.)

    The raid was a joint effort between the Prince George's County police narcotics squad and the County Sheriff's SWAT team who unlawfully entered the mayor's home after being denied a "no knock" warrant by Judge Northrup. Tomsic was not the intended recipient of the drug package. Police were already investigating the possibility that the intended recipient of the drugs was an independent contractor working parttime as a deliveryman for the parcel delivery company in the Prince George's County area.

    When Calvo brought the package into his house cops followed a few minutes later, shooting his Labrador Retrievers and handcuffing the mayor and hs mother-in-law, who saw the SWAT team just before they hit the door. She screamed. Cops said this indicated to them that the old woman was warning other drug gang members the cops were on their way in. It never seems to dawn on the police that when you break into the home of a law abiding citizen, screaming and fear is a normal reaction to burley men with guns kicking in your door.

    Calvo, who remained shackled throughout the ordeal, was interrogated for hours as police, who were in his residence illegally, violated his home (since a sitting judge had already denied them the method of entry they chose to use) by illegally searching it, looking for other drugs, contraband, money and customer lists and/or drug source data, which they were convinced they would find. The only contraband in the home was the unopened package which the police delivered and, of course, took with them when they left. Police did not arrest Calvo or his wife when she arrived home from work. (Maybe, if they think about it for a while, the Prince George's County, drug enforcement officials might think they've discovered a new and effective method to gain access into suspected drug houses. Deliver the drugs to the door like they did in Berwyn Heights, kick in the door, and arrest the drug dealers after they accept the Cannabis Trojan Horse by bringing the narcotics into their home. That will simplify law enforcement in chronic drug-infested areas in the Maryland suburbs north of DC.)

    A Prince George's County law enforcement source now admits the Calvos were not the intended recipients of the marijuana. On Wednesday, August 6, Prince George's County Police arrested an independent contractor hired by a local parcel service as a deliveryman and one other man in connection to a string of drug parcel deliveries containing a reported 417 lb. of marijuana to residences over the past month. As police investigated the deliveryman and his accomplice, they also uncovered a parallel scheme to send marijuana through what appears to be another package delivery system, or at least, from another location. They seized an additional 100 lb. of marijuana. As of 10 a.m., Thursday, August 7 police had not released the names of the two men who were apprehended in the Berwyn Heights incident nor in the other incidents as well.

    While the police now clearly know that none of the residents in the Prince George's County area who received drug parcels were involved in the drug trafficking scheme, Timothy Maloney, the attorney for Calvo and Tomsic said the arrests confirm that Tomsic was "...a random victim of identity theft at the hands of major drug traffickers. This crime,:" he added, "was compounded by law enforcement when it illegally invaded the Calvo home, tied up the mayor and his mother-in-law, and killed the family dogs. The Calvo family is still waiting for an explanation from law enforcement as to how this could possibly have happened."

    Prince George's County police had been involved in the other aspects of this case for some weeks and they already had a parcel service deliveryman under surveillance. Which means, police should have realized none of the people who received strange deliveries that were almost immediately picked back up by the deliveryman, were involved.

    Understanding the breathe of the County's liability, Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin C. High refused to rule out that the mayor and his wife were involved in the drug scheme because of the violation of their rights by police, and because police officers killed family pets who had not shown any aggression towards the police officers. While he later admitted that "...[m]ost likely [the Calvos] were innocent victims," High's initial ploy was to tar the Calvos as best he could under the circumstances by suggesting there were still unanswered questions that caused him to hesitate—condemnation by inference of wrongdoing. He told the media that "...From all indications at the moment, they had an unlikely involvement, but we don't want to draw that definite conclusion at the moment."

    Yet, neither High nor County Sheriff Michael A. Jackson apologized to the Calvos for the raid that resulted in the destruction of their dogs. Jackson specifically defended the shooting of the dogs by his deputies claiming that his deputies were "engaged" by the dogs. Deputies claimed they were attacked by the first dog when they entered the house and the other dog (Chase, who was fleeing from the gunshot) when they made their way into the other rooms of the house. Calvo insists his dogs were peaceful and the deputies had no provocation from either pet. Maloney said it was demonstrably false to suggest the dogs were threatening the officers, adding that the statement of the deputies was defensive and outrageous. In addition, deputies signed a sworn statement at the conclusion of the incident stating they provided Calvo with a copy of the warrant authorizing the search of his home. It didn't happen. Sheriff's deputies brought the warrant to Calvo several days after the incident.

    It is not enough that the Cheye Calvo and Trinity Tomsic have grounds to sue Prince George's County for the illegal breaking and entry of their home, the unlawful warrantless search of their home, the shooting of two household pets and the trauma the ordeal placed on Calvo, his wife and her mother. Every member of the task force that that participated in that unconstitutional raid needs to be fired, and those in charge of the raid—and the officer or officers who killed the pets—must face charges and jail time. And if the State of Maryland chooses not to pursue criminal charges against those officers, the people of State of Maryland—who must understand the next warrantless, no-knock entry might be at their house—must take it upon themselves to rid the State of the bureaucrats who believe police officers have the right to abrogate the Bill of Rights when it is convenient for them to do so.

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  2. carlover_36 carlover_36

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    that is just realy messed up, like living in Russia.
    2 people like this.
  3. Vicki Vicki

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    3 people like this.
  4. imFADED imFADED

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    • Since: Jun 12, 2008
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    Hey, any day that the cops decide to hook me up with 32 lbs. of marijuana I will begin to appreciate the law a little bit more. But shooting the dogs? Come on now.
    1 people like this.
  5. 5drive 5drive

    • Slacker
    • Since: Jul 31, 2006
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    I think Melvin and Michael should be the ones that get prosecuted. Give 'em a nice stay in a maximum security prison, and make sure they're in with the general population. ;)

    I hope this story doesn't go away. Terrorism is already giving the authorities an excuse to make this country a police state. We don't need out of control local yokels making things worse. They need to clean house in Prince George's County.
    3 people like this.
  6. Freedom_User Freedom_User

    • ....Is really high
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    This news story has corruption written all over it.
    3 people like this.
  7. KillerWeed420 KillerWeed420

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    I hope the mayor sues the county for so much money that the county is forced into bankruptcy and they have to lay off every cop on the force. These are not cops. they are thugs. Thay all knew they didn't have a search warrant but they pull this shit anyways. This is why its important for as many of us as possible to get in the jury pool so when a bullshit case like this comes up we can get a little justice for a change.
    1 people like this.
  8. Plainsman1963 Plainsman1963

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    Not on the side of law enforcement at all, but this particular news story has some "views" that don't exactly jibe with all the other news stories about this incident, such as:
    Every other news source I have seen has said they had no clue he was Mayor and when he told them he was, thought he was nuts. ;)

    If they would have coordinated with local law enforcement, they would have found this to be the case. :shrug:

    Seems this is more editorial than actual news, compared to the other news sources. When they play fast and loose with a fact like this, makes me wonder what else I can believe in the story.

    Anyway, just wanted to make that point. Personally, I hope everyone involved with this "raid" gets fired. ;)
    4 people like this.
  9. king cola king cola

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    QUOTE]Every member of the task force that that participated in that unconstitutional raid needs to be fired, and those in charge of the raid—and the officer or officers who killed the pets—must face charges and jail time. [/QUOTE]

    I heard that if someone kills a police dog that person can be charged with murder of a police officer. If that's true if it's one of your pets that gets shot and killed by a cop they should face serious charges like manslaughter of a civilian if the dog didn't attack. A dog can attack because that is their way of defending their owner. When someone forces their way into a house the dog isn't dumb enough to think they are a friendly person! Maybe the cops should arm themselves with a weapon that fires a pet tranquilizer instead of firing a bullet and killing someones animal!

    Yeah that dog was a real threat to the cops! :rolleyes:

    The judge should see to it that these cops get disciplined for their actions! They disrespected the judge when they went behind his back and illegally went into the house without the warrant.

    They should bring their case to federal court instead of leaving it up to the state of Maryland. IMO cops bring cases to the state courts so much that they might personally know some of the judges and prosecutors that will hear the case and might go easy on them.
    2 people like this.
  10. ITG ITG

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    I think you're right about the slant in this article, plains, but to me it just brings another issue to light- even if they didn't cooperate with local police, they STILL should have known- I would hope that any operation of this size would have the targets researched at least a little (past crimes, daily habits, etc.), and since they had a name, it would be pretty easy to find out he was mayor.

    I agree that it's more likely they didn't know, though. It smacks of the same incompetence and recklessness that saturates the rest of the event.

    Those officers DO deserve to be fired. Not simply for the actions taken against innocent people, but also for the inability to properly do their job. These are not people I want protecting me- they might gun me down by mistake instead.
    3 people like this.
  11. mufasa5446 mufasa5446

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    man.. that's some crazy shit. sounds like there's a lot more going on than we know about most likely
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    • Represent. KY
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    Thats terrible.
  13. Murdock Murdock

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    And herein lies the root cause of the problem. Police are unable to police themselves.

    According to the most recent interview with Mayor Calvo the police have cleared themselves of all wrongdoing.

    Washington Post Magazine: Deadly Force -

    This should be terrifying for anyone.. I cannot fathom how anyone can read this and not be outraged and terrified of what America is becoming
    2 people like this.
  14. marcusJay marcusJay

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    In Russia, you wouldn't hear about it.

    Cops are people as well. Thats why law enforcement agencies have an internal affairs division.
  15. Mikeebud Mikeebud

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    • Since: Sep 17, 2008
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    "who saw the SWAT team just before they hit the door. She screamed. Cops said this indicated to them that the old woman was warning other drug gang members the cops were on their way in."

    An old lady who's being rushed by 10 guys in bulletproof vests with guns wouldn't scare her.. She was alerting all the drug runners upstairs.

    I thought that was obvious.

    Fuckin pigs.
  16. marcusJay marcusJay

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    Has this turned into another "I hate the cops" thread?
  17. LowRider LowRider

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    why did we bring up a post thats is months old
  18. marcusJay marcusJay

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    For some people, it feels good to say the cops are bad. It gives them a communal sense of victimization. In a way, some people thrive on being a victim. They're only a victim in their mind but it provides a sense of relief if all their problems can be blamed on the MAN, or in this case....the fucking pigs.
  19. Wickedshot Wickedshot

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    2 people like this.
  20. PowDawg PowDawg

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    This is what happens when you give animals guns.

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